JWT’s Loss Is Burnett’s Gain

Kellogg Co. consolidated its U.S. advertising at Leo Burnett because of a corporate reorganization in November, a client official said.

“Our company has changed quite a bit. … By consolidating, we improve efficiencies and our focus,” said Karen Kafer, a client representative.

Those changes in clude its pending acquisition of Keebler and its move last November to divide four units into two, Kellogg USA and Kellogg International. As a result, Jeff Montie was named president of Kellogg’s morning foods division in January, and David Mackay, who will continue to serve as president of Kellogg USA, became evp of Kellogg Co.

Due to those changes, Kellogg USA last week moved all its cereal brands at J. Walter Thompson in New York to Burnett, which means all its domestic advertising is now at the Chicago-based shop. Burnett already handles several of Kellogg’s cereal lines, convenience and frozen foods, and Worthington Foods brands, and is lead agency for Keebler. Combined billings for Kellogg’s and Keebler are about $350 million.

The shift affects the brands Corn Flakes, Honey Crunch Corn Flakes, Crispix, Raisin Bran, Raisin Bran Crunch, Smart Start, Special K and Country Inn Specialties, representing about $65 million in billings, per Competitive Media Reporting. Burnett’s sister shop, Starcom USA, handles Kellogg’s dom estic media buying and planning duties. JWT will continue its international assignments, Kafer said.

The move comes nine months after Kellogg’s realigned global ad duties on five products among Burnett and JWT [Adweek, May 29]. In that shift, JWT gained global ad duties for Special K and Corn Flakes, and Burnett got global creative duties on Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Nutri-Grain bars. At the time, client officials said this was done to “promote the transfer of ideas” on those brands worldwide.

The new shift is seen as a blow to JWT. One source said “it’s too early to tell” if layoffs will result. JWT president Bob Jeffrey is said to be hopeful that most, if not all Kellogg’s staffers can be redeployed to other accounts.